Will Your Doctor Tell You When They Error?

  A case I remember well involved a simple endometrial scraping, a curetting, a common type of specimen. An error occurred and it nearly resulted in a patient getting treatment for cancer that she didn’t have. As a patient, do you think the lab should have reported this error? It caused the patient no harm.…… Continue reading Will Your Doctor Tell You When They Error?

Pink Slip

I didn’t know why Nancy wasn’t at work today, again. I asked and learned she has the rest of the week off. We don’t work the same shift but it was obvious she hadn’t been there because she is one of the powerhouse cutters. What I mean by that is, she cuts a lot and…… Continue reading Pink Slip

Lab Errors

I have worked in labs for over thirty years. Most of that time was spent in clinical labs which are labs that service the needs of patients and the clinicians, your doctor. Over that time inspections have increased. Rules have been made to insure tests are done correctly. Those rules are usually the result of…… Continue reading Lab Errors

Friday and You

Fridays can be a bad day to have a biopsy taken. To explain why, I’ll give you the following, a phone call that came in to my lab on a Friday afternoon. To understand this call, I work in a large lab that receives specimens from other hospitals and the call is about a biopsy the…… Continue reading Friday and You

Foreign Bodies

Body parts, as well as things that shouldn’t be in the body, get sent to the Histology Lab. At one of my first positions as a tech, I saw a McDonald’s coffee cup that had been pulled from a person’s colon. It was filled with cement and shoved up there and got stuck.   At that time, I…… Continue reading Foreign Bodies

Lost Again

They lost another patient’s specimen today. I noticed the supervisor, assistant supervisor, lead tech, and two of my fellow techs searching under every piece of equipment, desk, and through all the garbage. They came around to each of us who were cutting to see if the lost block was among our blocks. Maybe it was…… Continue reading Lost Again

Where to go for Care

Care varies with the size of the institution. As a patient, this information can be important in choosing a hospital. In my experience, there is a direct relationship between the degree of expertise of a lab, pathologist, or surgeon based on the size/type of the hospital. Local Community Hospital A local community hospital does not usually…… Continue reading Where to go for Care